A new Indian (Bollywood) blockbuster has been banned by the Pakistan film board for its apparently unflattering depictions of Muslims.
Indian films are enormously popular in Pakistan but the movie “Raees” had been particularly hotly anticipated as it features Shah Rukh Khan, one of India’s most popular male leads, and Mahira Khan, a Pakistani star making her first appearance in a major Indian production.
Rukh Khan, himself a Muslim, has millions of fans all around the world, but his new film “Raees,” about a bootlegger turned politician, has hit a roadblock with Pakistan’s censors.
The movie, scheduled for release last Sunday has been banned because of its “inappropriate depiction of Muslims,” according to Pakistan’s Central Censor Board.
On Tuesday, the chairman of the Pakistan’s film censors said the country’s cinemas would not be allowed to screen the movie.
“Yes, the censor certificate has not been issued to the film Raees for having inappropriate content,” said Mubashir Husain.
The board also said the movie “did not show the real face of Islam” and focused on a “sect of Muslims as bad.”
The decision to ban the movie, which is based on a true story set in Gujarat in the 1980s and 1990s, has caught cinema-goers as well as the cast and crew by surprise.